A: What are you doing with that cigarette? I thought you quit cold turkey.
B: I did quit. I just have the odd one when I’m out drinking with my friends. I never buy them anymore.
A: How long have you been doing this?
B: I didn’t have any at all for 2 months. This past week I started smoking just on weekends when I’m out. It’s no big deal.
A: I don’t buy it at all. You know how addictive smoking is. It’s easier to have none at all then it is to try to limit yourself to a few. It’s a really slippery slope.
B: You sound like my mother. Let’s make a bet. I bet you 200 bucks that I don’t have a cigarette outside of a bar for the next six months.
A: You’re on. But, how will I know whether or not you are cheating.
B: We’ll have to use the honor system.
A: Fine. This is a real bet then. 200 bucks. 6 months. No cheating and no backing out.
B: No problem. This is going to be the easiest 200 bucks I’ve ever made.
A: Hey, I hope you win.
Phrases and Vocabulary used:
Quit cold turkey: This is a set phrase. If you quit something “cold turkey” that means that you quit all at once. You don’t slowly quit. For example, quitting smoking “cold turkey” means that after you say you are going to quit, you never have another cigarette.
Have the odd one: If you “have the odd” cigarette, it just means that you have a cigarette once in a while but not often. You can also say, “the odd time”. This means that you don’t do something very often. If someone asks, “Have you been playing much golf lately?” you could answer with, “I’ve been busy lately, but I still play the odd time”. They both mean, “infrequently”.
I don’t buy it: This phrase means, “I don’t believe it”. Imagine your friend said to you, “Kevin said that he won a medal in the Olympics”. You could say, “I don’t buy it. He’s always making up stories”.
Slippery slope: This phrase means that once you start doing something a little bit, it’s hard to control yourself. It is a kind of bad habit that is easy to pick up. If you love to eat chocolate, it’s hard to only eat a little piece and then stop. You could say, “I’ve decided not to eat any more chocolate. Once I start I can’t stop. It’s a really slippery slope for me”.
You sound like my mother: We often use this phrase to tell someone that they are trying to control you. If your friend is nagging you about some problem, you could tell them, “you sound like my mother”.
You’re on: This phrase is used to agree with or accept the terms of a bet. If your friend says to you, “I’ll bet you 10 dollars that I can been you at tennis”, you could reply with “you’re on”. That means, “Sure, I’ll make that bet with you”.
Honor system: The “honor system” is the term we use to say that we will just use trust. In this dialogue, the one person could of course cheat on the bet because the other person won’t know if he is really smoking outside of the bar. The “honor system” means that you agree to trust that no one will cheat.
Backing out: “Backing out” of something, like a bet, means that you say you won’t do it anymore, even though you had previously agreed to do it.
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